Singer-songwriter Angel Olsen released a first taste of her upcoming covers EP Aisles. Classic ’80s pop hits like “Gloria” by Laura Branigan are being re-imagined by Olsen. The EP is set to drop on August 20th via somethingscosmic, Olsen’s Jagjaguwar Imprint. Besides the “Gloria” cover, the EP includes covers of “Eyes Without A Face” (Billy Idol), “Safety Dance” (Men Without Hats), “If You Leave” (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) and “Forever Young” (Alphaville).
Olsen says about the EP, “I know it’s not really in my history to do something unintentional or just for the hell of it, but my connection to these songs is pretty straightforward, I just wanted to have a little fun and be a little more spontaneous, and I think I needed to remember that I could!”
Olsen’s reinterpretation of the pop classic is a lot more slowed down, with an eerie glow surrounding it. It is a lot more dark and gloomy than the original, giving it a new meaning and life. Olsen’s cover is different than other ’80s covers; it is strongly connected to her and feels very personal. This might be because, for Olsen, the song has a real memory. While many probably connect the song “Gloria” with the classic ’80s dance movie Flashdance, for the singer, the song has a different connection, “I heard ‘Gloria’ for the first time at a family Christmas gathering and was amazed at all the aunts who got up to dance. I imagined them all dancing and laughing in slow motion, and that’s when I got the idea to slow the entire song down and try it out in this way.”
Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” is actually a cover as well; the original was released in 1979 by Italian artist Umberto Tozzi. Three years later, Branigan covered the song in English and turned it into a worldwide hit. The song is still used in pop culture to this day.
Photo credit: Owen Ela